A Question about Homosexuality


#1

I understand that the Catholic Church denounces same-sex marriage. But is homosexuality itself sinful (according to the church)? My sister is gay. She is also the nicest person I’ve ever known. She is very religious and was born and raised Catholic. I refuse to believe she would knowingly sin. When she first told me she was gay, I was shocked. But looking back, she always dressed, wore her hair, etc. like a boy. After reading this websites article about same-sex marriage, I was quite upset about some of the “facts” which were presented. First, the article claims to not be homophobic. This is the same article that labels gays as depressed, suicidal, drug users etc. The proof given for this claim is that these figures have remained stable despite increased “public acceptance.” Denouncing any human’s right to love and condemning same-sex marriage as evil… this is acceptance? I am Catholic and plan on remaining Catholic. However, I do not know what to believe with this one issue. Am I forced to choose between the Church’s teachings and my love for my sister?

Matt, 17 years old


#2

What I understand on the teachings, the act is sinful. The actual person should be loved, not turned away from. I was taught that we should try to help these people, that they are, in blaintent terms, ill. We should try to help them see the error in being homosexual.

Being gay is wrong, because it is not open to life. Life only comes from a man and a woman, not two of the same gender.

Victoria, 14 years old


#3

I don’t think you should have to choose between the Church and your sister. You just have to learn to seperate the sin from the sinner. We all have sin in our life, things we struggle with. We have to remember that, although God hates sin, He still loves us. We have to do that for others. You can love your sister, but you don’t have to accept her choice of lifestyle because you know it’s wrong.

Scout :tiphat:


#4

My sister is also the most intelligent person I have ever known. It is not as if “faulty reasoning” has led her to be gay. Why is it so hard to believe that people are born gay?


#5

Scout,
You put words in my mouth by saying that I “know” my sister is wrong for being gay. I **refuse **to label my sister as a sinner for this (see below) This is my problem: Is it possible for me to recognize my sister’s sexuality as normal and still be Catholic?

I recognize my sins. My sister recognizes her sins. And she does not believe that being gay is a sin. As I stated, she is not some heathen who parades around her sexual orientation. She truly believes there is nothing wrong with homosexuality. I ask once again, why is it so hard to believe that people are born gay?


#6

[quote=SCV15] Why is it so hard to believe that people are born gay?
[/quote]

The jury is still out on that. I don’t have any trouble believing people are born gay, since all sorts of disorders can be present at birth or the seeds for them can be there. That doesn’t not diminish personal responsibility, however. An alcoholic may well have a genetic pre-disposition to alcoholism, but it is still his responsibility if he drives drunk and kills someone.


#7

Whether you “believe” it or not is irrelevant. The Church says that it is, the Bible says that it is, the Catechism says that it is.

“Being” a homosexual may not be a sin, but the act is a sin. If she didn’t live the lifestyle but struggled with the feelings and attraction, that would be one thing. However, if she refuses to listen to the teachings of the Church and knowingly participates in this lifestyle, then that’s sin.

That being said, I don’t know that it’s a mortal sin for you to accept the lifestyle. However, it is a mortal sin for her to participate in the act. And the fact is that you know it’s wrong and the Church teaches against it, otherwise you wouldn’t have started this thread. I think you’re just looking for a way to validate what you want to believe.

Scout :tiphat:


#8

Another problem of mine is that the whole homosexuality debate has turned into simply a bunch of gay-bashing. It seems to me that homosexuality has been singled out from fornication, adultery, lust, etc.


#9

Well, you obviously don’t care what the Church has to say on the matter, so why even pose the question? :confused:

Scout :tiphat:


#10

hello

you have to realize that having homosexual tendancy is what your sister has. it is just another form of temptation the devil uses to lure your sister away from Christ. you might be surprised but there are some really religous people out there that have this struggle and the best thing for you to do is to encourage her to fight it. i am a guy, everytime i get a ‘feeling’ to lust over someone does that make it right? Because i have an attraction for another women besides my girlfriend and i would rather go with this other person today then my girlfriend does it make it right? NO, Something is not right here. you may know God made us (men and women) to be with one another while we are here on earth so that we can be co-creators of life with him. The evil one does not want us to be part of that, his goal is to try and stop us whatever it takes. It is natural for us guys to be attracted to women as it is natural for girls to be attracted to us guys for the reason of being co-creators with God. (now there is responsibillity here but im not going to get into that) This is a speacial call and union with God. But do you see my point? for someone to have homosexual tendancies and to fully except it, is not wanting to be a co-creator with God. She is in a since rejecting the calling from God and wants to do what she is ‘feeling’. here is why it is a sin, because of the rejection from God. Now im sure she is a really nice person and im sure she is a faithful one too, but that doesnt mean what she is doing isnt wrong. we all have our struggles this may be her struggle, but it is up to her to “Deny herself and take up her cross daily and follow [Jesus]”–Luke 9:23


#11

[quote=SCV15]Another problem of mine is that the whole homosexuality debate has turned into simply a bunch of gay-bashing. It seems to me that homosexuality has been singled out from fornication, adultery, lust, etc.
[/quote]

No, not so. The Catholic Church has taken the most COMPASSIONATE and also TRUTHFUL stand on this issue, more honest and above board than any other church. On the one hand, you have the Fred Phelps of this world who condemn gays to Hell out of hand, on the other, you have the “ecclesial communities” that seem to actually celebrate/affirm the lifestyle and choice to actively live in that lifestyle (some Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc.). The Church calls it an objective disorder, admits that She hasn’t a clue whether or not a gay person is born that way, but proclaims that She does know that same gender genital activity is gravely sinful, and calls gays to a life of holy chastity, which She says can lead to their gradual perfection. She doesn’t even suggest that they try to change, as far as I’ve seen. I don’t hear any other denomination/sect/group/ saying what Holy Mother Church says, in both Her Truth and Compassion. As for ***fornication, adultery, lust, etc, ***, what in the world could you cite as an example of how the Church has FAILED to condemn these things? If you’re talking about the gay marriage bans being approved, the Pope and the Bishops speaking against gay marriage, that’s a specific LEGAL assault on we have always understood marriage to be, between a man and a woman. Fornication, adultery, lust also impact assault marriage, but not from a codified legal/political position. No one usually says,“Hey, I want my right to sleep aroung on my wife codified in law,” mostly because they’d be ashamed to do so! That didn’t stop gay activists, though. Homosexual activity now has, if I’m not mistaken, the right to exist in the pirvacy of people’s homes. We’re just not going to enshrine it as marriage in the law.


#12

Matt,
I highly recommend you research the Catholic Church’s teachings on ALL sexuality. First thing you’ll find is the Church teaches all sexual activity outside of marriage is sinful, in fact they use the exact same words to describe homosexuality, fornication, masturbation, lust (including even thinking about it!)… ect. Nowhere in the Catholic teaching does it say one is “worse” than the other, they are all gravely disordered. Please read the CCC (Catechism of the Catholic Church). The Church wants all to come to her, but it does not accept the sinful acts, neither heterosexual nor homosexual. Actually it says the person with same sex attraction or homosexual tendencies is specially called by God. Please don’t take the homosexual bashing from some, as the teachings of the Church. My prayers are with you and your sister as you seek the truth and the love of God in His Church.
Tom


#13

[quote=SCV15]Another problem of mine is that the whole homosexuality debate has turned into simply a bunch of gay-bashing. It seems to me that homosexuality has been singled out from fornication, adultery, lust, etc.
[/quote]

I’m not sure of where you are going with this idea.

Most Catholic websites have just as much, if not more, things dedicated to Chastity than they do Homosexuality.

Look at this Forum - count the Post Topics - there will be more about Heterosexual Chastity than about Homosexual Chastity.

We talk more about Chastity to our Youth Group Teenagers than we do talk about homosexuality.

As far as I have heard - consistantly - is that
Heterosexual or Homosexual - Chastity is the key.

When a topic comes up about Homosexuality - then that is “the topic at hand”. It is only a skewed perception that it is he only thing that is ever talked about.

If you would like to discuss another topic - then we would be happy to talk about it.

peace

todd


#14

SCV15–

I had a lot of trouble dealing with this issue too… Now, granted, I don’t know anyone who is homosexual, but I am constantly having to defend my faith from attacks by non-Catholic family members, friends, etc…

It came to the point where I was just plum tired of responding with, “I’m not sure why it’s wrong, I just know that’s what the Church teaches (so I believe it too)…” Other Catholics I talked to didn’t have any better answer. So, I launched a formal investigation…

First, I went to the Catechism:

“**2357 **Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

Okkayy… rolling eyes “Great. So, what else is new?” After going there, I looked up the question in a Matthew Pinto book (Did Adam & Eve Have Belly Buttons?) my parent’s got me for Christmas a few years ago… (I’ll just quote a little section from Question #174: “If being a lesbian or being gay is wrong, why did God make people this way?”)

“God permits some people to have a homosexual orientation, but this doesn’t mean that God created them that way or wants people to engage in homosexual acts. God also permits some people to have leukemia or schizophrenia. Does that mean these things are good in themselves? The fact is that we live in a world damaged by sin. God is correcting that through the teachings and sanctification offered by Christ through the Church. But He allows bad things to continue for a time in order to bring an even greater good from them.

“God can use things like physical sickness or mental illness or conditions like say, anorexia or homosexuality as means of growing in holiness. Yet that doesn’t make them good in themselves. The schizophrenic person cannot say, ‘God made me this way, therefore I can do whatever I want.’ Similarly, the homosexual person can’t reasonably argue, ‘I am this way. God made me this way, therefore I can act on my orientation.’”

Alright, getting somewhere now… still not satisfied though…

Next I went surfing online… I needed some scientific proof to back me up. If it was true that homosexuals are “just born that way” that totally blows everything. Pinto said that homosexuality was a result of original sin, which sounded good, but has it been proven that it isn’t genetic?

continued… (sorry for being so long-winded…)


#15

(part ii)

"NOT BORN THAT WAY

If same-sex attraction were genetically determined, then one would expect identical twins to be identical in their sexual attractions. There are, however, numerous reports of identical twins who are not identical in their sexual attractions. (Bailey 1991[11]; Eckert 1986; Friedman 1976; Green 1974; Heston 1968; McConaghy 1980; Rainer 1960; Zuger 1976) Case histories frequently reveal environmental factors which account for the development of different sexual attraction patterns in genetically identical children, supporting the theory that same-sex attraction is a product of the interplay of a variety of environmental factors. (Parker 1964[12])”

(cathmed.org/publications/homosexuality.html)

There was another source I had read on this, which I can’t find at the moment, but it was a personal testimony on this one Christian website. The girl writing in was 17 yrs old; she and her sister were identical twins, and as the snippet from the article above said, they were not of the same sexual “orientation.” It was very moving, because the Christian sister (not lesbian) who was writing in was very upset about the whole situation, and very strongly stated that people are not born homosexual. She actually commissioned a doctor/scientist person to examine the two DNA strands (hers and her sister’s). The result was that the strands were exactly the same—no “gay gene.”

Ok, so if it’s not genetic, what causes it? Homosexuality, some theorize, is caused a.) by environment or b.) by “experimentation” … meaning people who have no other reason for “trying out” a homosexual lifestyle other than being curious or confused.

There are also several various Bible passages that deal with this, but it would be so repetitive to quote them here, so I’ll spare you… (shamefulness of homosexual acts Rom. 1:26-27, Lev. 18:22 and 20:13, and Gen. 18:20; sexual difference between men and women is divinely willed Gen. 1:27-28, Gen. 2:24, Gen 5:2; homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God 1 Cor. 6:9)

Sooo… that’s what I found out.

-Homosexuality result of Original Sin

-Homosexuality NOT genetic

-Homosexuality can be controlled and reversed (just like with any other sexual temptation)

-There IS help for people willing to change

What help, you say?

There are soo, soo many CATHOLIC support groups for homosexuals who know they are sinning and want to change their lifestyle. But those are only for people willing to change.

[font=Arial]Homosexuals are called to live chastely, just like the rest of us. That could mean changing their thinking and marrying someone of the opposite sex, or that could mean living a single chaste life. No doubt, it would be an EXTRODINARY struggle. But as Mr. Pinto said, God is using that obstacle of sexual temptation to get “homosexuals” back into spiritual shape… they can only become holier by trying to overcome their sin with God’s help.[/font]
[font=Arial][/font]
[font=Arial](continued again…)[/font]


#16

(part iii)

SCV15, your sister is not a bad person, and she isn’t even committing mortal sin if she doesn’t realize the gravity of what she is doing. That’s why it’s up to you and more primarily your parents to help her out. She doesn’t need to be patronized or yelled at; just simple, Christian charity and fraternal correction will do the trick. What she needs right now more than anything is to be loved dearly by her family members (Don’t mistake what I’m saying though, her actions should NOT be condoned). She needs to know that God loves her and is willing to forgive her if she will recognize her mistake and repent.

I hope that’s helped. If you still don’t believe me, I challenge you to launch your own investigation… The best way to learn something, and really internalize it, is to go and find it out for yourself. Best of wishes, I’ll be praying for you and your family…

Blessings,

~Irish Catholic

P.S. sorry again for being so long!!


#17

[quote=SCV15]Scout,
You put words in my mouth by saying that I “know” my sister is wrong for being gay. I **refuse **to label my sister as a sinner for this (see below) This is my problem: Is it possible for me to recognize my sister’s sexuality as normal and still be Catholic?

I recognize my sins. My sister recognizes her sins. And she does not believe that being gay is a sin. As I stated, she is not some heathen who parades around her sexual orientation. She truly believes there is nothing wrong with homosexuality. I ask once again, why is it so hard to believe that people are born gay?
[/quote]

Hi Matt,
Your sister is correct in saying that “being gay” is not a sin in the eyes of The Church. Same-sex attraction, whether in-born or acquired through life experience, is only a temptation. Like any other temptation, there is no sin involved until the person gives in to the temptation. Many of us have temptations that we fight our whole lives. It is strange that same-sex-attracted people seem to feel that their particular temptation is somehow special and should be viewed differently than other temptations.

Some people are prone to substance abuse and fight it their whole lives. Some are attracted to children. Some feel compelled to seek sex outside of their marriages. Some are attracted to animals or inanimate objects. Some feel compelled to steal. Some feel compelled to seek unrighteous power over others by rape and sadism. All of these temptations could be seen as (and may well be) in-born but they are all temptations, not sins. The sin occurs when the person feels that her temptation is more important than the will of God, and she gives in to it.

If your sister’s unnatural attraction prohibits her from enjoying a happy heterosexual marriage, then perhaps she is called to a life of celibacy.
Grace to you,
Paul

“Just the facts, ma’am” - Sgt. Joe Friday


#18

Matt,

Irish Catholic suggested looking for Catholic support groups. You and your sister might check out Courage
[/font]http://www.couragerc.net/
Many people have struggled with the same temptations, perhaps their experience will help.


#19

Unless you place your understanding of sin as a choice of an earthly good over the spiritual good then it just seems to be judgemental exercise.

Your sister makes a choice with every lesbian encounter she has, she has chosen a good in her mind and if we ask what that good is she will probablly be very eloquent in explaining it to us. Common explanations are deep seated friendship and companionship.

You will never be able to argue that these are not good in her mind. The issue is to help her see The Spiritual Good she is missing. Every sin involves a deprivation from God’s graces. The way to help people with this tendecy is to get them to identify God’s graces and the vices that counter the grace. Unfortunately deep seated vices usually require a lot of prayer, fasting and abstinence to break. It is such a personal committment that very few are willing to make it, so take small steps.

At the heart of every homosexual relationship is the unmistakable sterile lust of mutual masturbation. It is unavoidable and as such must be addressed. Once your sister can talk about lust, masturbation, fornication and see these as sinful idependent of her particular life then she can start to repair her life. This by the way is the exact same path taken by hetrosexuals in trying to break free of sinful sexual lives. The problem is that most homosexuals have no idea that what they are doing is in fact sinful in so many other ways then just being engaged in homosexual acts.

If you can get her to think and pray on how even one of the dependent sins I mentioned earlier and see how God desires us to put aside these pleasure moments for the real joy He offers she will be well on her way to living a grace filled life. Her life maybe that of celibacy or it may be one of heterosexual marriage I know many who have left their homosexual lives behind and become quite content married heterosexuals one step at a time.

Your prayers for her will be a God send.

God Bless


#20

Thank you for all the responses they’ve really helped me out. Scout- I do care about the Church’s teachings (I am Catholic) and wanted to clarify what I had thought. I understand that homosexual acts are sinful but you must understand that it’s hard for me to tell her (and hard for her) to be celibate the rest of her life. As a teenage male, I struggle with avoiding pornography, masturbation, etc. just as my sister struggles with homosexuality.

thanks again
Matt


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.